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The California Supreme Court is hearing today (Nov. 4) the case of whether former San Diego City pension board members should stand trial for conflict of interest. The district attorney's office is pressing the case; the 4th district court of appeals said it could go forward, and it was appealed to the highest court. The question is whether six pension board members were violating conflict-of-interest laws when in 2002 they allowed the city to underfund the pension system in return for a big boost in pension benefits. Today, Justice Marvin R. Baxter asked if the arrangement was essentially a bribe. The DA's prosecutor, William La Fond, said it was. Baxter then asked who passed the bribe. La Fond said it was the city council. Then Baxter asked a key question: "Why weren't they prosecuted?" (Agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission chastised but did not cite the council for its role.) The Supreme Court is expected to render its decision in 90 days.

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Comments

Don Bauder Nov. 9, 2009 @ 9:01 p.m.

Response to post #103: I'm sure he realizes he shouldn't have used that word "all." Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 12, 2009 @ 2:05 p.m.

Response to post #132: I said that russl may be a rustler. I think now that he may be a wrestler -- a professional wrestler who goes by the alias of Gorgeous George or Haystacks Calhoun. (I realize I am dating myself with those two wrestler names, but I can't think of any others.) Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 12, 2009 @ 2:11 p.m.

Response to post #133: SP has already told you to look it up yourself. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 12, 2009 @ 2:17 p.m.

Response to post #134: "Ouch!" is what professional wrestlers say -- more proof that russl is a pro grunt'n groaner. Do you suppose that he plays the villain or the good guy? Best, Don Bauder

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Burwell Nov. 9, 2009 @ 10:21 p.m.

From what I understand, it is fairly typical for 30% to 50% of newly hired firefighters to be the sons and daughters of existing Fire Department staff. There appears to be rampant corruption in the hiring process, with many applicants dodging nepotism rules through adoption. The sons of Fire Department management often go to court and arrange to be adopted by outsiders so their fathers can legally hire them without violating nepotism laws. The test questions are likely leaked in advance to favored applicants to insure they score high. Oral interviews are probably heavily stacked in favor of family members. A family member could likely show up drunk for the interview and still get hired. I'm convinced the SDFD is violating civil service laws by rigging the selection process to favor family members. The County Grand Jury should investigate hiring practices at the SDFD and identify firefighters who have been illegally hired so they can be fired.

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Russ Lewis Nov. 11, 2009 @ 1:05 a.m.

Puppy, if I knew what a trough feeder was, I might be mad. Or I might not. Is "trough feeder" one of those things you have to go to the Urban Dictionary to figure out?

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Russ Lewis Nov. 12, 2009 @ 2:40 p.m.

(#137) Check your notes again, Don. Pete said that, not me. Is this the first time you've ever misattributed a quote?

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Don Bauder Nov. 13, 2009 @ 9:06 a.m.

Response to post #142: If the past is any guide, russl will come back and smash me. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 11, 2009 @ 6:13 a.m.

Response to post #113: You will hear from JF and JW, SP. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 11, 2009 @ 6:17 a.m.

Response to post #114: As I have said, that nepotism charge, if it is true, can be most damaging. But is it true? Somebody with HR experience should be able to look at the records carefully and see if there are statistically excessive family ties compared with other jobs in the public and private sectors. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 11, 2009 @ 6:19 a.m.

Response to post #115: Russl has made no such indications. He is under no obligation to state his occupation. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 11, 2009 @ 6:22 a.m.

Response to post #116: C'mon, Russl, you know what a trough feeder is. It's anyone feasting off the public teat, milking the taxpayers. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 10, 2009 @ 7:52 a.m.

Response to post #105: Or 99.9%. Best, Don Bauder

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JF Nov. 11, 2009 @ 6:29 a.m.

filled by cronyism and nepotism, always has been and always will be-that is why SDFD was sued and they were forced into a legal consent decree

See... told you he'd come back to an argument he couldn't prove.

Yet again, Johnny, prove that any hiring in the FD in the past 25 years has been affected by a consent decree. You seem to think that something that happened 35 years ago is still current hiring practice.

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Don Bauder Nov. 10, 2009 @ 7:54 a.m.

Response to post #106: This is a very interesting post. It cries out for a major investigation. I would like to hear from JF and JW on this one. And SP, please chip in, too. Beyond that, the grand jury, as you mention, should take a very hard look at this. Best, Don Bauder

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Russ Lewis Nov. 12, 2009 @ 7:02 p.m.

(#115) So, SurfPuppy, you don't know after all what I do for a living, you just blindly throw accusations at anyone who questions you and back down when you're called on it.

That confirms it -- SurfPuppy is a certified bulls***er!

(I know, I know -- "News flash!")

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Russ Lewis Nov. 11, 2009 @ 11:40 p.m.

According to SurfPuppy, "That confirms it- russl is a certified trough feeder!" OK, Puppy, since you know what I do for a living, tell me what I do. I'M CALLING YOUR BLUFF RIGHT NOW, Vegas.

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JF Nov. 10, 2009 @ 9:58 a.m.

OK, in regards to Post 106... you're kidding, right? You really think that people are adopting themselves out to have a different surname to that they can get hired?

Are some family members hired? Sure. Just the same as some follow their parents footsteps into business, or into the military, or into elected office. However, unlike business, those hired into the FD are held to a higher standard. The "you should know better" standard. At least one son of a high ranking chief has been fired from the academy for failure to perform.

Based on what I've seen, the "family" rate in the academy is <10%. I believe that in the current academy, there are two family members out of 34 recruits.

The testing is handled by the city Personnel Department. No one in the FD knows what is on the test. It's a general knowledge test, so there is no need for FD review. The only FD involvement is in the interview process. But then city Personnel makes the final hiring offers based on whatever criteria they do.

Don, you say it "cries out for a major investigation". OK. Into what? How much are you willing to spend on a grand jury investigation based on the complaints of a couple of anonymous people?

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Don Bauder Nov. 10, 2009 @ 5:21 p.m.

Response to post #109: Nepotism in government is different from nepotism in the private sector. In government, the money comes from taxpayers. Some say the nepotism rate is 30% and you say around 10%. If it is 10%, it should be investigated. Best, Don Bauder

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JF Nov. 10, 2009 @ 6:37 p.m.

Big difference between going through a fair hiring process and nepotism. It seems that by your definition, no one who had ancestors in the military could ever join...

Incidentally, did you notice that Johnny Vegas seems to have plenty of time to comment on other stories, but none to back up his bogus claims here? Typical. Sooner or later, he'll make the same fantasy statements again, completely ignoring the fact that he couldn't prove them the first time.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 9, 2009 @ 12:28 p.m.

"In fact 99% of the time they are in the fire station, BBQing, eating, cooking, sleeping, shopping, washing big red truck etc." And it's my burden of proof to find out where you got that statistic?

By russl

Actually the burden was on you/JF claiming 1) there is no nepotism or cronyism in gov hiring-especially the FD 2) that SDFD was not under a concent decree and that 3)the LA Employee (Harper) was not in fact fired for her nepotism/cronyism hiring practices as JF claimed when he made the post claiming this was cured. Those are all well known public facts.

As for the 99% of firewhiners;

"BBQing, eating, cooking, sleeping, shopping, washing big red truck etc",

I may have been a tiny bit off-they do sleep for about 30% of the time :)

And Pete-thanks for the circus chimp photo confirmation backup! (there you go russl-a picture is worht a thousands words :) )

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 9, 2009 @ 12:30 p.m.

BTW-I was a HUGE Curious George fan when I was a kid!

Heck, I still am, this is a great pic Pete. Glad you found it.

http://www.tableandhome.com/prodhefba

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Don Bauder Nov. 11, 2009 @ 10:44 a.m.

Response to post #121: Are we approaching verisimilitude in this discussion? The date -- 35 years ago -- is creeping into the colloquy. Best, Don Bauder

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Russ Lewis Nov. 11, 2009 @ 5:10 p.m.

I'm not no cop, Pete, but Puppy is about to tell us all what I do for a living. Any minute now. Puppy?

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Don Bauder Nov. 9, 2009 @ 1:10 p.m.

Response to posts #s 87-95: Do you think a chimp would find it easy to come up with those cases that SP says are easy to locate? Best, Don Bauder

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Russ Lewis Nov. 9, 2009 @ 1:10 p.m.

Oh, OK. So that "99 percent" statistic just came out of a handy orifice.

Puppy, I shoulda known you were a lawyer. You excel at dodging and stalling.

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Russ Lewis Nov. 9, 2009 @ 2:08 p.m.

"And Pete-thanks for the circus chimp photo confirmation backup! (there you go russl-a picture is worht a thousands words"

Pete's photos were good for a laugh but -- dare I say it? -- proved nothing. Don and I are still calling BS on that claim of yours.


"BTW-anytime you want to you can google th emost dangeroud jobs in America, Firewhiner is not one of them."

Seems like we've been through this before. You (or someone) claimed that working retail was more dangerous than being a firefighter. Somebody posted a bunch of irrelevant bulls*** links that ultimately supported the entirely different claim that cashiering at a convenience store after midnight had a higher death rate than firefighting. OK, maybe so.


"You have the burden of proof rule backwards Russ."

I understand how burden of proof works, even if I'm not a lawyer too, Mr. Puppy.


"'Let's have an answer finally to #67.'

"NO I am not going to hunt the lawsuit down for you-it is public record/information."

Translation: "Oh, it's out there. Trust me." Reminds me a little of Joe McCarthy waving laundry lists and saying, "I've got the proof right here!!!"

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Don Bauder Nov. 10, 2009 @ 8:44 p.m.

Response to post #111: Yes, but private sector employers will claim that nepotism hires were the result of a fair hiring process. A classic example: David Copley. The sycophants surrounding him would never say (openly, at least) that he was anything but the best person for the job. Best, Don Bauder

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Russ Lewis Nov. 11, 2009 @ 12:11 p.m.

(#120) No, I don't know, Don, but thanks for telling me. (I'm still not mad.) Johnny Vegaspuppy's apparent MO then:

-- Make a claim, any claim.

-- Shift the burden of proof where it belongs: on everyone else. ("YOU look it up. I'm not going to support my claim.")

-- Dismiss any detractor, with omniscience on loan from God, as a "public employee" -- worst thing since a Communist.

-- Consider the case closed.

-- Light a cigar and admire your rhetorical skill; you are a lawyer, after all.

By the way, Mr. Vegaspuppy, tell me what my job is. I'm curious.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 10, 2009 @ 9:53 p.m.

JF-I just found a pic of you and JW (and the rest of the FD/PD/gov employment industrial complex);

http://ialsoliveonafarm.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/circling-around-the-feeder.jpg

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JustWondering Nov. 11, 2009 @ 12:17 p.m.

Verisimilitude or not there's one truth out there...JohnnyV spins the tale to fit his needs, truth be damm. We know one thing....and if I could quote Col. Jessup, from A Few Good Men, JohnnyV "...You can’t handle the truth!"

I'm just wondering, is that a prerequisite for practicing law in California?

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PistolPete Nov. 9, 2009 @ 2:55 p.m.

No problemo! Glad to be of some useful assistance here. :-D

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 10, 2009 @ 9:59 p.m.

Basically, he's jealous because he couldn't get hired as a PD officer years ago, so he uses the typical victim stance of blaming the "system".

By JF

Let's see, I have 1)common sense, 2)clean record, 3)don't drink, smoke or use drugs or alcohol, and 4)have a college degree-that pretty much counts me out for gov workfare!

And for the record, I went to the police academy between my 2nd and 3rd year of college, and was hired in a much better job (svhoool teacher), including better pay, job within 90 days of graduating college.

The notion that I am "jealous" or "could not get hired" is about as honest as saying you were hired on the merits and you are the "best and brightest" (more like the dumb and dumbest).

JF-Firewhiner is a GED job, filled by cronyism and nepotism, always has been and always will be-that is why SDFD was sued and they were forced into a legal consent decree (which you admit).

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 10, 2009 @ 10:08 p.m.

Translation: "Oh, it's out there. Trust me." Reminds me a little of Joe McCarthy waving laundry lists and saying, "I've got the proof right here!!!"

By russl

That confirms it- russl is a certified trough feeder!

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Don Bauder Nov. 9, 2009 @ 4:13 p.m.

Response to post #97: How many orifices are "handy?" Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 9, 2009 @ 4:17 p.m.

Response to post #98: It's cruel to compare SP with Joe McCarthy. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 12, 2009 @ 9:57 p.m.

Response to post #138: Hell no, it is not the first time I have misattributed a quote, unfortunately -- especially on this blog, where I answer thousands of posts. But your castigating me for it proves what I suspected: you are a professional wrestler, and you play the bad guy. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 9, 2009 @ 4:20 p.m.

Response to post #99: Pistol Pete comes through. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 4, 2009 @ 11:28 a.m.

Justice Marvin R. Baxter asked if the arrangement was essentially a bribe. The DA's prosecutor, William La Fond, said it was. Baxter then asked who passed the bribe. La Fond said it was the city council. Then Baxter asked a key question: "Why weren't they prosecuted?"

The judge has a point, but the fact that the clowncil members were NOT proscecuted is NO DEFENSE to the charge or an indication of innocence of the accused. That is well established criminal law.

In fact I have used this defense myself many times in the past;

"But your honor, although I WAS going 80 MPH in the 65 MPH zone, there were at least 10 other cars doing the same thing!, so it is not fair to SINGLE me out"

Well guess what-that was a loser argument 20 years ago and it is a loser argument today.

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Don Bauder Nov. 4, 2009 @ 11:51 a.m.

Response to post #1: I thought it was a good question. I did not think it would be determinative in the resolution of the case. A lot of forces are lined up with the defense in this case. They want the conflict-of-interest laws watered down. Best, Don Bauder

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Anon92107 Nov. 4, 2009 @ 12:07 p.m.

Response to posts #1 & 2:

Great point SurfPuppy619, it's time to throw the entire S-ity Clowncil in jail for either committing the larceny of public funds or sitting and watching the bandits run free while their own pensions are magnified to platinum class along with the pensions of the bandits.

Don, how much more can conflict-of-interest laws get watered down than they are already? Thieves like Golding, Murphy, Sanders and their S-ity Clowncil puppets continue to destroy quality of life in San Diego with impunity as it is.

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Don Bauder Nov. 4, 2009 @ 12:20 p.m.

Response to post #3: Correct. Conflict-of-interest laws are weak, and San Diego judges wouldn't enforce them if they were strong. Best, Don Bauder

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Anon92107 Nov. 4, 2009 @ 12:38 p.m.

Response to post #4:

Interesting that you should bring up the subject of judges, by the end of the last millennium judges have most truly become the root cause of all evil in America today because political, economic and social crimes are out of control.

As former Justice O'Connor documented, the judicial practice of the Rule of Law in America has devolved to third world class, returning to the level that Archon Solon tried to prevent in 6th century B.C. Athens.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 4, 2009 @ 1:28 p.m.

Man, we sure do need more judges like Sandra Day O'Connor!

She was very thoughtful, deliberate and methodical in her decisions. You could not call her out as a conservative or a liberal on the court-because she was right down the middle.

The most influential judge in the last 100 years IMO. Being the very first woman, I am glad she turned out so good. The difference between her and Thomas is light years.

She has passed her “swing” vote off to Justice Kennedy (who personally caused me a ton of grief back in August when he refused to grant me more time to file an appeal. KENNEDY is coming close to gaining the middle of the road, moderate REPUTATION O’Connor had, which is a slight switch from Kennedy's more conservative views in the pasr, he is being very moderate in his swing vote opinions. Kennedy is from CA, in case no one knew. O'Connor is from AZ but graduated from Stanford.

I think Kennedy is doing a good job carrying the moderate swing vote-but nto as good as O’Connor did.

O’Connor will go down as one of the best judges of the Supreme Court in the last 100 years IMO.

Mad respect to Sandra Day O’Connor.

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Don Bauder Nov. 4, 2009 @ 3:19 p.m.

Response to post #5: The judiciary is one of society's weakest links, in San Diego and throughout the U.S. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 4, 2009 @ 3:28 p.m.

Response to post #6: Sandra Day O'Connor was a great judge -- agreed. Thomas and Scalia are bad judges. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 12, 2009 @ 1:20 p.m.

NOTE: I goofed on post #130. The poster goes by the name russl, not Russell. I have a son named Russell. That may have led to my confusion. It may have also led to my suggestion that russl might be a cattle rustler by trade. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 4, 2009 @ 5:39 p.m.

Thomas has no business at all on the Supreme Court. Awful judge. I cringe when I see an 8-1 vote and Thomas is the hold out. And he ALWAYS takes the side of gov over the side of individual liberty.

Scalia... he has his position on the Constitution and sticks to it. Most times I do not agree with him, but I think he has a very sharp mind with the brain power back it up (and deserves to sit on the court). I disagree with many, many of Scalia's positions while at the same time respecting him for taking a position and defending it.

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JustWondering Nov. 4, 2009 @ 8:15 p.m.

So Johnny is what you're saying is this is not a case of selective prosecution? What about the guarantees under the 14th Amendment?

While I'll agree using the defense of selective prosecution rarely, if ever is successful the lives of these six defendants, the levels of stress they've endured over the past five years will take its toll on all of them. Besides this is not their defense. The fact is there are exceptions to the §1090 statute that support their position.

With briefs filed from all over the state supporting the defendants' position I suspect the Court has another hot potato in its hands. The ruling will be interesting to say the least.

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PistolPete Nov. 4, 2009 @ 8:31 p.m.

I'm not fans of Thomas,Sotomayor or Roberts.

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Don Bauder Nov. 4, 2009 @ 8:57 p.m.

Response to post #9: Scalia may have a sharp mind, but it is quite narrow, in my opinion. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 4, 2009 @ 8:59 p.m.

Response to post #10: Yes, the defendants have supporters by the bushel. They want exceptions to the conflict laws. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 4, 2009 @ 9 p.m.

Response to post #11: We have a court whose predilections are not the same as those of the majority of the electorate. That was also true during part of FDR's term. Best, Don Bauder

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Fred Williams Nov. 4, 2009 @ 10:09 p.m.

A pity the DA doesn't take the judge's question seriously.

Why haven't any of the members of the city council or mayors who acted in such a grossly negligent and conflicted manner been prosecuted?

When the decision makers are insulated from the consequences of their bad decisions we no longer have a representive democracy.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 4, 2009 @ 10:29 p.m.

So Johnny is what you're saying is this is not a case of selective prosecution? What about the guarantees under the 14th Amendment?

By JustWondering

Hey Johhny Cochrane the III, please show me where the 14th Amendment says a prosecutor does NOT have discretion to pick and choose who they prosecute. Oh, and also point out your so called "guarantees under the 14th Amendment". I always thought the 14th Amendment protected rights.

Your slime ball buddies have their butt in a sling and your Judge Wopner legal opinion is not going to help them.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 4, 2009 @ 10:32 p.m.

A pity the DA doesn't take the judge's question seriously.

Why haven't any of the members of the city council or mayors who acted in such a grossly negligent and conflicted manner been prosecuted?

When the decision makers are insulated from the consequences of their bad decisions we no longer have a representive democracy.

By Fred_Williams

Doesn't matter one bit if the Clowncil was charged or not.

That is not a valid defense.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 4, 2009 @ 10:33 p.m.

I'm not fans of Thomas,Sotomayor or Roberts.

By PistolPete

Sotomayer has not issued a single opinion yet-how can you determine whether to be fan or not until she makes a few rulings.

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PistolPete Nov. 4, 2009 @ 10:51 p.m.

I didn't like her the day I noticed she was dodging questions at her confirmation hearing. I don't care if someone asked her if her last s*** stank...answer the damn question! Her faux superiority reeks of misplaced liberalism and it's just further proof that affirmative action is ALL wrong.

Her appointment smakes of self-righteous indignation,cronyism and the worst of American politics courtesy of Obama.

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Fred Williams Nov. 4, 2009 @ 10:55 p.m.

Puppy, I didn't assert it as a defense.

I repeat it as a reasonable question. Why haven't those f***ers been charged?

Just how corrupt is our system when there's never accountability even for notorious wrongdoing. Even the Chinese crack down on corruption with more seriousness and openess than we are doing in San Diego.

Instead of busting pot dispensaries, why doesn't Dumanis go after the former mayors and councils, the sports moguls, the city managers and other top staff who orchestrated what all the country now recognizes was a massive fraud?

We're a laughing stock.

The particular issue before the court points to how difficult it is already to prosecute public service malfeasance, and if the judge gives the defendants what they want (betcha he will!) it will be even worse.

I wonder how hard the DA is really working on prosecuting this case, or whether they'd be much happier to see it all go away and to use an adverse ruling as an excuse for never having to investigate public fraud again...

How convenient for the politicians who appoint the judges, heh?

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Don Bauder Nov. 5, 2009 @ 6:22 a.m.

Response to post #15: That very question about the council has been asked for a long time. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 5, 2009 @ 6:27 a.m.

Response to post #16: The so-called "slime-ball buddies" may not have their butts in a sling, although they may deserve to have. Best, Don Baude

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Don Bauder Nov. 5, 2009 @ 6:29 a.m.

Response to post #17: I have always wondered if Dick Murphy's sudden resignation as mayor was quietly engineered by prosecutors in one of these cases. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 5, 2009 @ 6:31 a.m.

Response to post #18: Her confirmation hearings and questions she has posed in SCOTUS hearings may have influenced the opinion of her. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 5, 2009 @ 6:33 a.m.

Response to post #18: All those candidates dodge questions at their confirmation hearings. Remember Roberts? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 5, 2009 @ 6:42 a.m.

Response to post #20: Why doesn't Dumanis go after sports moguls, former mayors and councils, city managers and others who orchestrated a massive fraud? Fred, you know the answer to that question. Why doesn't Dumanis go after any establishment fraud? You know the answer to that. Her one skill is fundraising among the rich and chic. She doesn't touch those who fill her purse. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering Nov. 5, 2009 @ 7:29 a.m.

Careful JohnnyV is getting all riled up again. Well we know two things about it, makes the reading here all that more interesting and JohnnyV thrives on the attention generated from his posts, no matter how outrageous or trollish.

Don, remember what you said about some previous posts: “An Internet troll is one who posts inflammatory or inaccurate information just go get others excited. Johnny, defend yourself.”

Remember Don, from a City Lights News Story published, Dec. 30, 2008.

Gotta agree with Fred, he never said it was a defense, merely posed a legitimate question regarding the treatment of elected or well connected versus others who are not.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 5, 2009 @ 8:13 a.m.

Careful JohnnyV is getting all riled up again. Well we know two things about it, makes the reading here all that more interesting and JohnnyV thrives on the attention generated from his posts, no matter how outrageous or trollish.

By JustWondering 7

Thank you for your support trough feeder.

Try making a buck on your own for a change instead of ripping off innocent taxpayers. Think that is possible? (nah, is it just a thought, an impossible task).

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PistolPete Nov. 12, 2009 @ 1:31 p.m.

I think russl is..............................just russl. A boring guy in a boring city in a boring state in a boring country. Not unlike any of us. russl is the shiznit! The man! I'm voting russl for Prez in 2012! Go russl! Go russl! It's yer birthday! C'mon and party like it's yer birthday!

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Don Bauder Nov. 5, 2009 @ 1:40 p.m.

Response to post #27: However, when I gave that definition of an Internet troll, then asked Johnny (presumably now SurfPuppy) to defend himself, I was not stating or implying that SP was a troll. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 5, 2009 @ 1:43 p.m.

Response to post #28: If your house catches fire, SP, can you count on JW and his colleagues in the FD to put it out? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 5, 2009 @ 1:45 p.m.

Response to post #29: Methinks invective is creeping into this dialogue. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering Nov. 5, 2009 @ 2:05 p.m.

Don...I thought the spin stopped here. In hindsight I suspect you did not intentionally want to suggest JohnnyV is an Internet Troll when you posted the definition. But then you did go on and tell Johnny to defend himself of the accusation. What would reasonable people think? Especially in the context of that thread. Besides, you didn't ask, nor tell, any of the others who post comments to defend themselves now did you.

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ExDiegan Nov. 5, 2009 @ 2:49 p.m.

The state only needs to prove that the pension board members acted differently because of some consideration they received aside from their statutory salaries. You don't even need to prove who, exactly, did the bribing.

(The law assumes that everyone knows that public officers get salaries, and that those salaries by themselves are not a bribe to do anything but give honest service. If it were only so.)

Fortunately, a jury decides whether the board strayed.

It'll be a very tough case to prove unless a board member can be flipped or e-mails or notes give away their thoughts.

Of course the case is toast if the state Supreme Court decides that enhanced emoluments awarded mid-term to one public body from another are, as a matter of law, always innocent grants.

This unseemly appearance of inter-agency bribery is one reason why the President and Congress cannot get mid-term raises. We'll not distinguish San Diego's public officers by comparing them to the President, but you get the idea.

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ExDiegan Nov. 5, 2009 @ 3:14 p.m.

One other thought: The pension board may end up wishing that the state prosecutes them.

The Feds might go after the board for "theft of honest services" which is broadly understood to be covered by the U.S. Code.

When (quoting the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals) "a public official acts as trustee for the citizens and the State . . . and thus owes the normal fiduciary duties of a trustee, e.g., honesty and loyalty to them. Theft of honest services occurs when a public official strays from this duty."

If the pension board did anything naughty via U.S. Mail, they might get whacked under 18USC1341, the mail fraud statute that has been used to prosecute theft of honest services cases. Here's the law in a nutshell:

"Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations or promises . . . places in any post office . . . shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both . . ."

False promises sure sounds like the Pension Board, huh? Book 'em, Danno.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 5, 2009 @ 3:22 p.m.

"Just Wondering"= Just a Tough Feeding Leech.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 5, 2009 @ 3:25 p.m.

The Feds might go after the board for "theft of honest services" which is broadly understood to be covered by the U.S. Code.

When (quoting the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals) "a public official acts as trustee for the citizens and the State . . . and thus owes the normal fiduciary duties of a trustee, e.g., honesty and loyalty to them. Theft of honest services occurs when a public official strays from this duty."

Randall "Duke" Cunningham was convicted under the "honest services" statute, as was his buddy Dusty Foggo.

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JF Nov. 5, 2009 @ 5:57 p.m.

Fred, I believe that the statute of limitations was expired for Golding and crew. They were the ones who engineered MP1 to fund the 1996 Republican Nat'l Convention.

For the sake of memory, MP1 created DROP and allowed underfunding in 1996.

Then the Corbett case came along and created the 3% at 50 (or 2.5% at 50 + 10%) in 2000. (http://www.lawconger.com/images/images/Corbett%20Judgment.pdf)

Then MP2 came along (2002) and changed the minimum funding level. I don't recall there being any significant benefit change then. MP2 is what Saathoff et al are being charged for.

Incidentally, I wholeheartedly disagree with Saathoff's union salary counting towards his pension. He did a lot of good for us, but I was done with him after MP2.

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Russ Lewis Nov. 12, 2009 @ 1:38 p.m.

Never mind me, SurfPussy needs to speak up here. How long does it take, Johnny?

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Don Bauder Nov. 5, 2009 @ 9:14 p.m.

Response to post #33: I think you will find that several times after invective-laced colloquys I have made comments like, "You're up, JF," or "Your turn, JW," etc. It was in that spirit that I made the comment to SP. I don't think any of you battlers are trolls. Even fumber. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 5, 2009 @ 9:18 p.m.

Response to post #34: Generally, the CA Supreme Court has tried to protect California conflict of interest laws. There is a lot of pressure to cave in on this one. I really can't make a prediction what the court will do. If anything, I believe the state should be toughening its conflict of interest laws, not weakening them, but nobody asks my opinion. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 5, 2009 @ 9:20 p.m.

Response to post #35: But if the state Supreme Court tosses the case, will the feds drop theirs? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 5, 2009 @ 9:21 p.m.

Response to post #36: Sticks and stones will break JW's bones, but.... Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 5, 2009 @ 9:23 p.m.

Response to post #37: But there are legal opponents of the use of "honest services" in pursuing clean government. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 5, 2009 @ 9:26 p.m.

Response to post #38: What's scary about Saathoff is that he was probably the most powerful influence on city council during his halcyon days. Best, Don Bauder

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JF Nov. 5, 2009 @ 9:51 p.m.

What's scary about Saathoff is that he was probably the most powerful influence on city council during his halcyon days.

Maybe. But they why did the mayor's own salary survey show SDFD was underpaid compared to their peers in other cities? Wouldn't you think that the "most powerful influence on city council" would have gotten better pay raises for his members? I think Saathoff was being played by McGrory.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 6, 2009 @ 7:30 a.m.

Maybe. But they why did the mayor's own salary survey show SDFD was underpaid compared to their peers in other cities?

By JF

Who cares if SDFD is "underpaid compared to their peers in other cities"????

We're not playing a game of leap from here.

There 1,000 applicants for every 1 SDFD opening, that tells you they are paid well above market rate for this job.

Remember JF, this is a GED job, that's it. Anyone could do it. It entails pointing a water hose at a fire-it's not rocket science buddy.

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JF Nov. 6, 2009 @ 8:25 a.m.

it's not rocket science buddy

Actually, it is. Just talk to the Bomb Squad or Haz Mat team.

It's a long stretch from applying to actually becoming a firefighter. Every year around 150,000 people take the LSAT yet only 56,000 pass the bar. Perhaps we should lower attorney's pay since the "application rate" is 3:1.

And, of course, you're exaggerating once again. There were around 2000 applicants last year for what should have been 100+ jobs. Most applications were not valid and were thrown out. Maybe higher paid jurisdictions get thousands of applicants per job. Not here.

Just for once, Johnny, try having a conversation without slinging insults.

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Visduh Nov. 6, 2009 @ 10:40 a.m.

JF, please explain the connection between LSAT takers and those passing the Bar. LSAT tells many, many aspirants that they do not have much chance of a legal career, and it dissuades them from attending law school.

I have no idea where you got those figures, but even presuming that they are correct, they prove little, because the LSAT is part of the weeding process that keeps out the unqualified.

The parallels with applicants for firefighter jobs just aren't there. SurfPuppy may be correct in stating that a a GED is all that is needed to apply for a firefighters job, but most of those who are successful have more education than that. As with so many jobs, being a firefighter has odd and long hours, dangers (not like those cops face, but still dangerous) and stresses that many or most of us could not handle long-term. But SurfPuppy is right when he says that the jobs are in great demand, and have long lines of applicants.

The average USMC or Army infantryman faces dangers far greater than a firefighter, yet is paid far less. There may have been a time when public safety employees were poorly paid, but in urban California, those days are past. They are now paid very well indeed, and their retirement plans are most generous.

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Don Bauder Nov. 6, 2009 @ 10:54 a.m.

Response to post #45: San Diegans generally are not paid as well as counterparts in comparable cities, particularly on the West Coast. That's where the saying "psychic income" comes from. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 6, 2009 @ 10:56 a.m.

Response to post #46: San Diego does not want to go the way of Vallejo -- into bankruptcy because of excessive pay to city employees. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 6, 2009 @ 10:59 a.m.

Response to post #47: Nobody denigrates fire fighters or police per se. The question is whether they deserve the money they receive, particularly since the city can't afford to pay it. Best, Don Bauder

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SDaniels Nov. 11, 2009 @ 4:01 p.m.

Is a "trough feeder" a pig, and so perhaps Puppy's way of indicating that russl is a police officer? JUST a guess ;)

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 6, 2009 @ 2:03 p.m.

It's a long stretch from applying to actually becoming a firefighter.

By JF

Only if you're not connected, then it is close to impossible. But for the 90% who are hired on connectiosn it is a cake walk.

The high paying gov jobs, like FF jobs, and to a lesser extent the PD jobs, are all "gifted" out to;

1- Family (Hi JF!!),

2- Friends,

3- Military workfare and

4- Civil rights lawsuit consent decree hires for engaging in 1 & 2 above.

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JF Nov. 6, 2009 @ 2:06 p.m.

Only if you're not connected, then it is close to impossible. But for the 90% who are hired on connectiosn it is a cake walk.

Johnny, once again, I'd like to see proof of this.

I'd also like to see proof of who I was "connected" to upon hiring.

And... I'd like proof of the consent decree that affected hiring in the SDFD in the last 20 years. Remember? You were going to provide that? You just "forgot"...

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 6, 2009 @ 3:18 p.m.

I'd also like to see proof of who I was "connected" to upon hiring.

And... I'd like proof of the consent decree that affected hiring in the SDFD in the last 20 years. Remember? You were going to provide that? You just "forgot"...

By JF

JF, I could prove it very easily by simply going through all the personnel records-it's not hard, especially since it has ALREADY been proven (yeah those little pesky nepotism/cronyism lawsuits SDFD got hit with in the 70's).

And YOU yourself are ALWAYS claiming that nepotism and cronyism hiring is FINE in the gov workforce, this in spite of the fact that every major metro PD and FD in this state has been sued over it and lost (including San Diego), resulting in the consent decrees.

What is it you say-that if a private sector company is built from the ground up by a family and they turn the business over to their sons or daughters("ABC Company and Sons"), then gov employees should be able to do the same-that is what YOU have said on numerous occassions. Except gov employees NEVER started gov employment and never built it up-they just trough feed off of it.

The ONLY reason you're not making $8-$12 an hour is because you're not in the free market, if you were your jig would have been up decades ago.

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JF Nov. 6, 2009 @ 3:31 p.m.

Visduh, The numbers don't particularly matter. The point is that the LSAT is a screening process, just as the FD application is a screening process. Only the top get through.

This whole discussion is a red herring from the fact that neither Saathoff, nor the entirety of L145, is the uber-powerful entity that some claim.

I'm well aware of that fact that we make more than the average person and more than the military. The comparison here is to other fire agencies to show that if Saathoff was as powerful as some claim, we would make more than other agencies not less.

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JF Nov. 6, 2009 @ 3:36 p.m.

Johnny, Once again. Please provide the case which required the SDFD to be in a consent decree at any point in the past two decades.

You can't. So once again, your claims are exaggerated.

There are lots of things in society that have changed since the 1970's.

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PistolPete Nov. 11, 2009 @ 4:02 p.m.

I hope russl isn't a cop. I like the guy and that would change a bit if he is.

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Don Bauder Nov. 6, 2009 @ 8:13 p.m.

Response to #s 52-56: It seems we have a real dispute between the firefighters and the lawyers. It boils down to this: firefighters put out fires. Lawyers start them. Best,, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 12, 2009 @ 10:01 p.m.

Response to post #139: If SP is a certifiable bullshi**er, then he is the only one in existence. In "My Fair Lady," Professor Higgins is singing about the wonders of the male gender. He sings...."One perhaps whose truthfulness you doubt a bit, but by and large we are a marvelous sex." Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering Nov. 6, 2009 @ 11:54 p.m.

And Trolls, like JohnnyV, drone on and on, endlessly buzzing about. Looking for attention, at any level to add something, anything to their pathetic life.

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JF Nov. 6, 2009 @ 11:56 p.m.

Here ya go, Johnny. Found this while looking for something else. This is what happens when true nepotism happens these days. Someone complains and the violators get fires.

Note that none of the people in this case were actually firefighters.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-harper27-2009oct27,0,7351465.story

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Don Bauder Nov. 7, 2009 @ 7:21 a.m.

Response to posts #58 and #59: And the conflagration rages on. You're up, SP. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 7, 2009 @ 8:56 a.m.

The numbers don't particularly matter. The point is that the LSAT is a screening process, just as the FD application is a screening process. Only the top get through.

By JF

That is the WHOPPER of the century!

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 7, 2009 @ 8:56 a.m.

And Trolls, like JohnnyV, drone on and on, endlessly buzzing about. Looking for attention, at any level to add something, anything to their pathetic life.

By JustWondering

The resident rough feeder appears once again from the dark!

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 7, 2009 @ 8:57 a.m.

Opps, that is TROUGH FEEDER for JW.

I am sure JW comes like a well trained dog whenever that name is said in public employment.

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Don Bauder Nov. 12, 2009 @ 9:39 a.m.

Response to posts #121-129: Could Russell be an imam? A motorcycle repairman/woman? A State Department attache? A bank dick? A cattle rustler? I'm curious. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 7, 2009 @ 9:28 a.m.

Here ya go, Johnny. Found this while looking for something else. This is what happens when true nepotism happens these days. Someone complains and the violators get fires.

Note that none of the people in this case were actually firefighters.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-...

By JF 11

Once AGAIN JF pulls out a whopper. This post is so full of falsehoods it could pass for swiss cheese.

Here JF, let me tell you what REALLY happened with Harper, who was NOT fired, despite that claim in your post.

1) She got her SON hired in the Sheriff's dept. NEPOTISM

2) Harper's son should have been FIRED from the SD for violating their rules, but was not (so much for your bogus claims og gov trough feeders getting fired for violating the rules and state law). NEPOTISM

3) Harpers son was allowed to transfer into a NEW job instead of being fired. NEPOTISM and CRONYISM

4) Harper's intanglement with her son did NOT get her FIRED-as it should have. CRONYISM

5) Harper gets her SON IN LAW a FD position that he was not a requested position by the FD, and her SON IN LAW was not qualified for, and then she overpaid him $1K per month. NEPOTISM

6) When word gets out of Harpers NEPOTISM and CRONYISM string pulling she was NOT FIRED. So once again, you don't know what you're talking about.

So your often stated claim that in Gov employment "Only the top get through" (post #55) is just a ridiculous claim, and the ONLY ones saying are those who have benefited from the nepotism/cronyism. Anyone who knows anything about gov knows how the system works.

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Don Bauder Nov. 7, 2009 @ 12:59 p.m.

Response to posts # 58-64: I can see there will never be a spirit of collegiality among the combatants here. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 7, 2009 @ 3:41 p.m.

I can see there will never be a spirit of collegiality among the combatants here. Best, Don Bauder

By dbauder

Yes, it is, but it is hard to fight with people like JW and JF on intelligence when they are unarmed :)

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JF Nov. 7, 2009 @ 5:28 p.m.

Oh hi, Johnny. I see I got your attention. Care to provide a link for your info? Or should we consider that a Johnny Vegas lie?

Now provide the case where SDFD was under a consent decree within the past 20 years. I guess your refusal to do that means you lied about it?

Once again, a few of us here are trying to have a decent conversation. Please stop with the insults and name calling.

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TheGunny Nov. 7, 2009 @ 5:38 p.m.

Don, I really think they should take down the pension board for knowingly duping us the membership for something they knew would happen long after they were gone. The Golding/Murphy Faction with all attachments should dance the carpet for pushing the agenda. Once again knowingly carrying out a devious act.

I am no lawyer, nor care to be, but this is pretty clear cut and dry that the mass beatings should begin across the board.

For the record I am all in favor of pension reform.

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JF Nov. 9, 2009 @ 7:05 p.m.

Funny how Johnny twists the truth. In post 52 he claimed: "The high paying gov jobs, like FF jobs, and to a lesser extent the PD jobs, are all "gifted" out to;

1- Family (Hi JF!!),

2- Friends,

3- Military workfare and

4- Civil rights lawsuit consent decree hires for engaging in 1 & 2 above."

OK, so prove it. You claimed it, you prove it. You used the words "ALL gifted out..." Prove it.

  1. Prove what family connection I had to get hired.

  2. Prove what friends I used to get hired.

  3. Prove that I was in the military.

  4. Prove that I was hired under a consent decree.

I picked consent decree to pick apart his argument because it's the only one he has a chance at. I was trying to throw him a bone. As usual, he's unwilling to back up ANY of his claims with actual proof.

As far as consent decrees, Johnny is trying to prove his theories about current SDFD hiring by way of a 35 year old court case. It doesn't apply today. He's still welcome to show that ANY hiring in the SDFD has been affected by a consent decree in the past 25 years. He can't do it. No one can.

Basically, he's jealous because he couldn't get hired as a PD officer years ago, so he uses the typical victim stance of blaming the "system".

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 8, 2009 @ 8:04 a.m.

. Care to provide a link for your info?

It is all public information trough feeder.

Look it up yourself.

BTW-I am glad you ADMIT that SDFD was under a lawsuit consent decree for illegal hiring practies.

So much for your nonsense that you GED clowns get hired because you're the "best"...Bwhahahahahhahaha. Firewhiner is a GED job that points a hose at a fire and sprays water on it-a trained chimp could do it.

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Don Bauder Nov. 8, 2009 @ 9:35 a.m.

Response to posts #s 66 and 67: You've been challenged, SP, to come up with documentation. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 8, 2009 @ 9:39 a.m.

Response to post #68: I think just about everybody is in favor of pension reform. But true reform would entail such initiatives as lowering pensions that a state, municipality, or corporation cannot afford. The law as currently written protects excessive pension benefits. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 8, 2009 @ 9:42 a.m.

Response to post #69: That's hyperbole, SP. A trained chimp could not perform this task. Best, Don Bauder

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Russ Lewis Nov. 8, 2009 @ 1:10 p.m.

Firewhiner is a GED job that points a hose at a fire and sprays water on it-a trained chimp could do it.

By SurfPuppy619 8:04 a.m., Nov 8, 2009

A trained chimp that doesn't mind risking its life in a burning building.

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Russ Lewis Nov. 8, 2009 @ 1:12 p.m.

It's a JOB that points a hose at a fire and sprays water on it...

Hmmm...

0

JF Nov. 8, 2009 @ 2:19 p.m.

BTW-I am glad you ADMIT that SDFD was under a lawsuit consent decree for illegal hiring practies.

I have no idea if there was or not. You sure have a funny way of interpreting people's words.

For the third time in this thread, please post the case where the SDFD was under a consent decree at any point during the past 20 years.

You can't post links because it's damn hard to verify "make believe" with actual info.

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Don Bauder Nov. 8, 2009 @ 4:35 p.m.

Response to post #73: A chimp might be fearless -- wouldn't know any better. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 8, 2009 @ 4:37 p.m.

Response to post #24: Are we getting into trouble with our metaphors? Best, Don Baude

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Don Bauder Nov. 8, 2009 @ 4:41 p.m.

Response to post #74: We seem to be stymied. JF challenges SP for documentation. SP says it is easy to look up. I know one thing: I'm not going to look it up. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 8, 2009 @ 6:16 p.m.

A trained chimp that doesn't mind risking its life in a burning building.

By russl 1

They don't risk their life in buring buildings.

In fact 99% of the time they are in the fire station, BBQing, eating, cooking, sleeping, shopping, washing big red truck etc.

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Russ Lewis Nov. 8, 2009 @ 6:31 p.m.

(#80) And you no doubt have a source for that statistic. Did it come from a handy orifice, or is this another "you could look it up"? Probably the same source as the trained monkey factoid.

Let's have an answer finally to #67.

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Don Bauder Nov. 8, 2009 @ 9:39 p.m.

Response to post #79: He says it is easy to find. Why don't you look it up, Russl? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 8, 2009 @ 9:41 p.m.

Response to post #80: Wouldn't it be easier to barbq at the fire? Have a marshmallow roast while holding that hose? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 8, 2009 @ 9:43 p.m.

Response to post #81: Russl has stepped in as the umpire. Best, Don Bauder

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Russ Lewis Nov. 8, 2009 @ 10:01 p.m.

(#82) "He says it is easy to find. Why don't you look it up, Russl? Best, Don Bauder"

'Cause I've been through this before. So-and-So makes an assertion. Others call his bluff on it. So-and-So says, "Oh, the information is out there. All you have to do is look for it." The skeptics say, "Well, then why don't you answer the question then, since you seem to know where it is and could find it easier?" So-and-So answers, "Oh, it's out there. Trust me."

Puppy, this goes down as an evasion and a concession of error to JF until we hear something from you.

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Don Bauder Nov. 9, 2009 @ 6:31 a.m.

Response to post #85: The umpire speaks. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 9, 2009 @ 6:49 a.m.

And you no doubt have a source for that statistic. Did it come from a handy orifice, or is this another "you could look it up"? Probably the same source as the trained monkey factoid.

Let's have an answer finally to #67.

By russl

The burden is not on me to prove your false statement that Firewhiners run into burning buildings-it is on YOU, the one who made it.

You have the burden of proof rule backwards Russ.

BTW-anytime you want to you can google th emost dangeroud jobs in America, Firewhiner is not one of them.

But my post of looking up the facts was NOT over that issue anyway-it was over the bogus claim of JF and LA gov employee Harper.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 9, 2009 @ 6:51 a.m.

'Cause I've been through this before. So-and-So makes an assertion. Others call his bluff on it. So-and-So says, "Oh, the information is out there. All you have to do is look for it." The skeptics say, "Well, then why don't you answer the question then, since you seem to know where it is and could find it easier?" So-and-So answers, "Oh, it's out there. Trust me."

Puppy, this goes down as an evasion and a concession of error to JF until we hear something from you.

By russl

Once again, I'm not doing YOUR detective work.

You are starting to sound like the typical gov employee trough feeder.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 9, 2009 @ 7:09 a.m.

Let's have an answer finally to #67.

By russl

Like I said, SDFD has been sued for nepotism/cronyism hiring, as has EVERY major PD/FD in this state, lost/settled, and did enter into a legal consent decree, and NO I am not going to hunt the lawsuit down for you-it is public record/information. And JF has already ADMITTED that fact and knows it to be true.

And don't kid yourself, this nonsense went on in the past, it goes on today (as the Harper article confirms) and will continue to go in the future as long as people with nothing more than a GED and no prior work experience can land gov jobs that compensate at $200K,and mor, per year .

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Russ Lewis Nov. 9, 2009 @ 11:02 a.m.

"In fact 99% of the time they are in the fire station, BBQing, eating, cooking, sleeping, shopping, washing big red truck etc." And it's my burden of proof to find out where you got that statistic?

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Russ Lewis Nov. 9, 2009 @ 11:03 a.m.

I wonder if Google Images would have pictures of these trained chimps in action?

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SDaniels Nov. 13, 2009 @ 9:52 a.m.

My profiler-style guess on russl's career: He's able to be online a lot, so he works with computers. He tends to stay middle of the road for the most part, and avoids controversy and confrontation (generally, with some rare exceptions). He is therefore likely comfortable working alone at home, programming software, just taking quick breaks to chat on the Reader.

0

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